Is self-help possible?
Improving oneself often comes by reading. And reading leads a person to their favorite source of reading material and that can be a library, a bookstore, or this blog on the Internet. People who are serious about self-improvement can be found in each of these places searching the “self-help” aisles for a topic that catches their attention.
Does self-help really help? After all, the limitation that one’s trying to improve belongs to the Self who will be helping you to change. So even with an exterior source of inspiration or help, like a blog or a book, the understanding and ability of the helper still belongs the Self who is seeking the change.
So the question is “Can a person help themselves with the problem that they themselves have when they themselves are the problem?”
The answer to this question is, “It depends.” “What,” you may ask, “does it depend upon?” It depends upon the structure one uses to view the Self and the change. If one is associated with structure that contains the limitation, change cannot occur. If one uses a different structure, like a Self-Observer, then change is possible and with right tools likely.
Let’s consider the question, “What is change?” The answer is, “Change is the modification of a behavior.”
Why does a person select a specific behavior to change? Ever increasing discomfort, suffering, and pain are the reasons the Self requires to change the Self.
The pain must be causing the Self or someone the Self cares about a considerable amount difficulty. Until the suffering is sufficient the Self will hide the behavior which is causing pain from itself. This is because while engaging in the problem causing behavior; the Self will ignore, justify or blame the pain generated by the behavior. Every ignored pain will continue to increase until it has risen to an sufficient level warranting change. One of the absolute laws of self-change is, “It is only when one takes responsibility for causing a behavior that a willingness to change the behavior can occur.”
A solution is always hidden from the person while they are engaging in the harmful behavior. As an example, a sober alcoholic knows they need to change their drinking behavior. They will usually agree that drinking is doing them no good, even as they are planning to continue drinking. To prevent themselves from taking responsibility and changing their addiction, they will make excuses and exceptions for themselves in one of any number of self-justifying ways. These exceptions and various forms of behavioral self-justification prevent them from becoming 100% personally responsible for the circumstances resulting from drinking. Additionally, the alcohol and other mind altering chemicals prevent a person from accessing the “Observer” which is required for change.
One seldom if ever admits one has a problem because one is busy denying and projecting the problem onto others, their circumstances or their history. It is useless to tell a person that they have a problem until they are willing to take responsibility for both their behavior and its consequences. The only two useful behavioral responses to any person with a problematic behavior is to love them like they are or to leave them.
How does the Self choose to become responsible for a problem? The answer is always the same; suffering. The suffering must be so intense that it creates within the person a willingness to become an observer to the behavior causing the suffering. As the observer, the Self can view the behavior in an objective form and find within themselves the willingness to change this behavior from within.
From the right perspective, which is the observer’s perspective, the Self can help the Self change an unwanted behavior, and self-helping Self is possible.